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Former Grainger Co. sheriff faces DUI, evading arrest charges | News

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Former Grainger Co. sheriff faces DUI, evading arrest charges

(WBIR) A former Grainger County sheriff and current Rutledge mayoral candidate was charged with drunk driving after he ran into at least one tombstone while leading law enforcement on a high-speed chase.

Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers arrested Richard Jay McElhaney Saturday night and charged him with driving under the influence, evading arrest, reckless driving, among other charges, according to a Grainger County records.

The police pursuit started when a Blaine police officer tried to pull over McElhaney for speeding. When the officer turned on his sirens, McElhaney drove even faster, and the officer lost sight of the former sheriff's black sports car.

A short time later, Rutledge police saw McElhaney's sports car speeding on Rutledge Pike near the intersection of Corbin Lake Road. When the officer tried to pull the car over, McElhaney led the patrol car on a chase that reached speeds over 115 miles-per-hour, according to arrest documents.

The pursuit ended when McElhaney turned into parking lot behind Rutledge United Methodist, drove through the middle of the cemetery, and smashed into at least one tombstone.

The Grainger County Detention Center confirmed McElhaney posted a $4,500 bond Sunday morning.

McElhaney is currently running for Rutledge mayor and is a school bus driver for Grainger County Schools. The former Grainger County sheriff was also a trooper with the Tennessee Highway Patrol.


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